Luke 3:21-4:13 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Temptation of Jesus
Comments for Study 8

Luke 3:21-4:13
Memory Verse: 2a


I. Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Man (3:21-38)

>1. Who was baptising all the people and who came to him to be baptized? (3:2-3, 21a)

* Luke 3:21a "When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying,"

* Luke 3:2-3 "during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."

* "When all the people were being baptized" -Here Luke does not mention John's name. Rather his focus is on Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father. The triune God is magnified in one setting.

* "Jesus was baptized too" -John was giving a baptism of repentance. Jesus came to be baptized even though he didn't need to repent.

* "And as he was praying" -Jesus was praying after he was baptized. The events that follow are immediately after the baptism.

>Why was Jesus baptized by John?

* Matthew 3:13-15 "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?' Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.' Then John consented."

* Mark 1:9 "At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan."

* John 1:32-34 "Then John gave this testimony: 'I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.'"

* Jesus was not baptised for the repentance of sin, but as an anointing of ministry, proclamation that Jesus was God's son and so John would know Jesus was the Messiah (John 1:33). All prophets needed a witness to confirm their ministry. Jesus ministry was confirmed by John. More importantly Jesus' ministry was confirmed to John by the Holy Spirit and the Father.

* Matthew 3:15 records Jesus saying it was God's way, in God's righteousness.

* Jesus' baptism showed John who he was preparing the way for; so John could point out that Jesus was the Messiah and that the Messiah was the Son of God and Lamb of God. (John 1:31-34)

* When I was a baby I was sprinkle baptized. That couldn't have been a baptism of repentance for my sin because I didn't know what has going on. As a young adult I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. Much later, as I studied the Bible I began wondering if I should be fully immersed baptised even though I had repented of my sinful life many years earlier. Then I realized that my Lord, the sinless Jesus was baptised; so why then shouldn't I be baptised like him? Jesus' purpose wasn't to be an example for me, but I see his life as an example to follow. Jesus' was baptised to begin his ministry. Jesus was baptised to display to the John and the world that he was God's son. Jesus was identifying with sinful me. So I thought, "What would be wrong if I were to follow my Lord's example in full immersion baptism?" Have you been fully immersed baptised like Jesus? If not, you should, not for the same reasons he was baptised. Rather ours is a baptism of repentance, a baptism of identity with God, and a baptism of declaration to the world, "I am a Christian."

John Baptises Jesus

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by

>2. When Jesus was baptized what happened?

* Luke 3:21b-22 "heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'"

* "heaven was opened" -I picture a room that is there, yet hidden by a wall. Then a door is opened and suddenly I can see in the room that was hidden. This gives me the idea that heaven is always there alongside earth and yet hidden from view. When heaven is made visible to man it is described similar to this. (Genesis 28:12-13; Acts 7:55-56)

* "the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove" -The Holy Spirit was not just an apparition. It had bodily form. This is the first time in the Bible that the Spirit of God is stating to look like something and be in bodily form. The Spirit actually rested on Jesus and unmistakable sign.

* The Holy Spirit is not some cosmic force. The Holy Spirit is a real identity, the third person of God. He has no boundaries. How then could John see him. Calvin wrote, "'The appearance of a dove' is a figure of speech, by which the sign is put for the thing signified, the name of a spiritual object being applied to the visible sign."

* The trinity is not some man made concept. The trinity is true. The first word for God in the Bible is the Hebrew word "Elohim". (Genesis 1:1) Elohim is a singular-plural word. In the same chapter God addresses himself, "Let us make man in our image." There is one God and three persons within that identity.

* Mark 1:10-11 "As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

* Matthew 3:16-17 "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.""

* But here two questions arise. The first is, why did the Spirit, who had formerly dwelt in Christ, descend upon him at that time? This question is answered by a passage of the prophet Isaiah, which will be handled in another place. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord God hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,” (Isaiah 61:1) (Calvin's Commentaries)

>Who was the voice from heaven?

* "And a voice came from heaven" -God the Father spoke from heaven. Often the Father's voice is heard, but he his not seen. Jesus said, "No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father." (John 6:46)

* Today may cults minimize the person of Jesus. They say he was just a prophet, a man who God used, and no more. To the apostates and antichrists the trinity is something impossible of God.

* Jewish teachers who believed that God no longer spoke through prophets believed that he now spoke to them by means of a voice from heaven (bat kol), although this was not considered as important as prophecy. Here Matthew, Mark, and Luke shows that both a voice from heaven and John's prophecy testify to Jesus. In Jewish stories the voice from heaven occasionally quoted Scripture, and most scholars think that the voice here refers to two or three Scriptures: Psalm 2:7, about the royal Messiah, the Son of God; Isaiah 42:1, about the suffering servant; and Genesis 22:2, about Abraham sacrificing his beloved son. The wording of Mark's text is closest to Psalm 2:7 and Genesis 22:2. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament)

>What did he say about Jesus?

* "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

* Jesus is the Son of God. This is often repeated in the New Testament. The Jew's concept of the Messiah was that he was a human who was to be king. Jesus tried to help them understand that the Messiah was more than what they understood him to be. (Matthew 22:46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44)

* God loved Jesus. He was pleased with his very being. When we are united with Jesus he loves us as he loves Jesus.

>What does it mean that Jesus is God's son? (Acts 7:55-56; Heb. 1:5,8-9; 2 Cor. 5:10)

* Acts 7:55-56 "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'"

* Hebrews 1:5 "For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father? Or again, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son'?"

* Hebrews 1:8-9 "But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.'"

* 2 Corinthians 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

* Jesus own assertions and intimations indicate that references to Him as Son of God can be traced to Jesus Himself. At the center of Jesus identity in the Fourth Gospel is His divine state as son (John 10:36). Jesus conceived of His divine state as son as unique as indicated by such assertions as “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30 NIV) and the “Father is in me and I am in the Father (John 10:38 NRSV). Elsewhere, He frequently referred to God as my Father (John 5:17; 6:32; 8:54; 10:18; 15:15; Matt. 7:21; 10:32-33; 20:23; 26:29,53; Mark 8:38; Luke 2:49; 10:21-22).

At Jesus baptism and transfiguration, God the Father identified Jesus as His son, in passages reflecting Psalm 2:7. He was identified as Son of God by an angel prior to His birth (Luke 1:32,35); by Satan at His temptation (Matt. 4:3,6); by John the Baptist (John 1:34); by the centurion at the crucifixion (Matt. 27:54). Several of His followers ascribed to Him this title in various contexts (Matt. 14:33; 16:16; John 1:49; 11:27).

The term Son of God reveals Jesus divine son-ship and is closely associated with His royal position as Messiah. Gabriel told Mary that her Son would not only be called the Son of God, but would also reign on the messianic (David's) throne (Luke 1:32-33). The connection of Son of God with Jesus royal office is also found in John (1:49; 11:27; 20:30), in Paul (Rom. 1:3-4; and 1 Cor. 15:28; Col. 1:13), and in Luke (Acts 9:20-22).

Primarily, the title Son of God affirms Jesus deity evidenced by His person and His work. John emphasized Jesus personal relationship to the Father. Paul stressed the salvation that Jesus provided (Rom. 1:4; and 1 Thess. 1:10), and the author of Hebrews focused on Jesus priesthood (5:5). All of these are vitally related to His position as Son of God. (David S. Dockery -Holman Bible Dictionary)

Jesus' Early Travels

>3. How old, humanly, was Jesus when he began his ministry?

* Luke 3:23 "Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,"

* "about thirty years old when he began his ministry" -When a Levite reached thirty he was permitted to work in the Tent of Meeting. (Numbers 4:3, 23, 30, 35, 39, 43, 47) Jesus was working on God's timing. (John 7:6) He had to be over thirty before he could start his ministry. Also, his ministry was to be a little over three years long. Also concerning the timing Jesus was to die, be buried, and rise from the dead in a unique year to fulfill the Holy Days timetable. Only one year in his life would permit Jesus to be in the grave three days (Hosea 6:2; Matthew 12:40, 16:21, 17:23, 20:19; Luke 9:22, 13:32, 18:33, 24:7, 46) since he was to die and be buried on Passover before sunset (day 1; Luke 22:7, 15, 66, 23:44, 54-56), be in the grave on the Sabbath rest (day 2), and rise on the day of the Sheave Wave, Sunday sunrise (day 3 since a Jewish day begins and ends at sunset not midnight, Luke 23:1). In order to fulfill all these prophecies concerning the timing Jesus waited until the right time to start his ministry.

* Luke is the only writer that claims this. He did not say that Jesus was exactly thirty; rather Jesus was "about" thirty years old. Jesus was born in either 5 or 6 B.C. (see study 1 and 4) and John began his ministry in 26 A.D. to 29 A.D. (see study 7) Therefore, Jesus was in his mid to late thirties when he began his ministry.

>Was Jesus the son of Joseph?

* "He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph" -Jesus was only the stepson of Joseph.

* No one in Jewish society would dare claim a virgin birth. God was so far lofted and exalted as to many to be considered to far away from man to have such a relationship. Their thinking was that man was to sinful and God was to holy. Their mistake was not accepting, forgetting, and/or ignoring God's grace and mercy. This was the society that Mary and Joseph had to live in. When it came to the miracle of Jesus' conception and all that happened after Jesus was born they had to keep their mouth shut until the time was right. They let people believe that Joseph was Jesus biological father. How else could they be accepted into a synagogue and Jewish society?

>Why did people think Jesus was the son of Joseph? (Luke 1:26-31)

* Luke 1:26-31 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."

* Joseph and Mary were pledged to be married when Jesus was conceived. They naturally would assume he was the father. Some might have believed she became pregnant illegally by him before the formal ceremony. (See Matthew study 30 commentary for more on the Jewish marriage procedures of that day.)

>What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of Man? (Heb. 2:14-15)

* Hebrews 2:14-15 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."

* "son of man" -Daniel is the first person to use this term both Biblically and extra-Biblically to refer to the Messiah. (Daniel 7:13) Daniel and Ezekiel were called by this title. (Daniel 8:17, Ezekiel 2:1) Extensive search by many have confirmed Daniel was the first to use the term "Son of Man". Jesus confirmed he was the Son of Man through his continual use, referring to himself as the Son of Man. "Son of Man" refers to the virgin birth. The virgin birth is very important in the redemption of fallen mankind. Without Jesus being born in this way, he could not be without sin and therefore could not have been the perfect spotless sacrifice.

* The "Son of Man" sayings of Jesus fall into three distinct types; Apocalyptic sayings, Passion sayings, and sayings connected with Jesus' Ministry. The first, Apocalyptic sayings deal with the final times when the Son of Man will descend to earth to gather the elect and to judge. They are the largest number. The second, Passion sayings are connected with the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. They are the second largest group. The third, sayings connected with Jesus' Ministry is the most heterogeneous, but all refer to some aspect of Jesus' earthly ministry used as a title pointing to his special role as Messiah. Examples of each of the three are below.

* Mark 14:61-62 "But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

* Luke 24:7 "'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'"

* Luke 5:24 "But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."

>4. Who was David, the son of Jesse, and what did God promise him in regards to Jesus? (24-31; 2 Sam. 7:11-16)

* Luke 3:24-31 "the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,"

* 2 Samuel 7:11-16 "and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. "'The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"

* David was the second king of Israel. God promised that one of his descendants would reign on his throne forever.

* Luke and Matthew present Jesus' genealogy with a few differences (after David). Why? There are three explanations of this. First, some suggest that Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph, the legal father of Jesus, while Luke gives that of Mary, the actual line of Jesus. Second, Africanus (220 A.D.) suggested that there was a levirate marriage because Heli died childless so one follows Jacob and the other through Heli. Third, Machen says Matthew follows the legal line if David's line would have continued reigning and Luke follows the actual line that leads to Joseph. The first view is the most accepted because Luke concentrates on the virgin birth and there formal rule for tracing a line in the case of a virgin birth. Also, Luke makes it clear that Joseph is not the father.

>Who was Adam and what did God promise him in regards to Jesus? (Gen. 3:15)

* Luke 3:32-38 "the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God."

* Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

* Matthew's genealogy does not go past Abraham. From Abraham to David both genealogies are the same.

* Genesis 3:15 is the first proclamation of the gospel. God promised to correct the wrong brought on by sin. God gave Adam and Eve good news.

II. The Temptation of Jesus (4:1-13)

>5. Why was Jesus full of the Holy Spirit? (4:1a)

* Luke 4:1 "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit..."

* The Holy Spirit had descended on Jesus when he was baptised. The Holy Spirit had always been with him. Now Luke points out very clearly that the Holy Spirit and Jesus was working in tandem.

* "full of the Holy Spirit" -Luke is the only Biblical writer to use this term. (Luke 4:1, 10:21; Acts 6:5, 7:55, 11:24) Jesus, Stephen, and Barnabas are the only people to be recorded as being "full of the Holy Spirit". Luke also uses the term "full of the Spirit" meaning the same thing when he refereed to the seven chosen servers in Acts 6:3. Several Old and New Testament passages use the term "filled with the (Holy) Spirit" and can be understood as meaning the same as Luke's two terms already stated. (Exodus 31:3, 35:31; Deuteronomy 34:9, Micah 3:8; Luke 1:15, 41, 67; Acts 2:4, 4:8, 31, 9:17, 13:9, 52; Ephesians 5:18)

* Since all receive the Holy Spirit upon acceptance of Jesus as Savior this must indicate something else. J. Vernon McGee wrote, "The filling of the Holy Spirit is for service. The experience of the Day of Pentecost (and after) came from the filling of the Holy Spirit (not the baptism of the Holy Spirit). It is still the same today. The filling of the Holy Spirit is for service. This is the only work of the Holy Spirit that we are to do anything about -we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." (Eph. 5:18). Notice that before Pentecost the believers wanted this filling of the Spirit. "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication..." (Acts 1:14) What would their supplication be about? About the promise of the Lord Jesus that He would send His Holy Spirit to them. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a command given to us. It is not an experience. It is an act of God whereby the believer in Jesus Christ is indwelt by the Spirit of God, sealed unto the day of redemption, and placed into the church, the body of Christ, by the baptism of the Spirit. The filling of the Spirit of God is the enabling for service. We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit."

>Where did the Holy Spirit lead him, for how long, and what happened when he was there? (4:1b-2)

* Luke 4:1b-2 "...returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry."

* Mark 1:12-13 "At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him."

* Matthew 4:1-2 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry."

* "returned from the Jordan" -This happened immediately after Jesus' baptism.

* "was led by the Spirit in the desert" -Jesus followed the Holy Spirit's lead. The Spirit wanted him to be alone with God. The desert is a harsh lonely place and such places can be used to focus our attention on God and our spiritual nature.

* "forty days" -People can refrain from eating for forty days, but barely. They are bed ridden and vulnerable to disease.
Forty days, week, months, or years are often the time of testing and proving in the Bible. For example; the flood (Genesis 7:4), Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:18, 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9-11, 18, 25, 10:10), exploring the promised land (Numbers 13:25), the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 16:35, Numbers 14:33-34, 32:13), etc.

* "he was tempted" -The original Greek for tempted is "peirazo". "Peirazo" is from the Greek word "peira" wjich means to test, endeavor, entice, discipline, examine, and prove. The concept is piercing the outer shell and getting to the inner content. Jesus did not engage in sin when he was tempted as a recent movie "Last Temptation of Christ" portrayed. To be tempted to sin is not the same as engaging in sin. I once heard someone say, "The temptation to sin is to look up, see a naked woman on a billboard, and then looking away. Sinning is willingly looking back again."

* "devil" -Satan is a created spirit, (Ezek. 28:14-15) a fallen angel who "masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14) Satan, the devil, the ancient serpent is the prince of the air. Luke 10:18 says, "Jesus replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'"

* The devil is the enemy. People are not the enemy. The people of the world, those who follow the ways of the world become the devils tools. They are not the enemy. He wages war against God's people not by putting ideas in our heads for we have the Holy Spirit. Rather, he puts ideas in the heads of people who reject the Holy Spirit. The beginning of the book of Job and Judas' decision are examples of how the devil wages war against us.

* Satan and his demonic followers are our enemy. Also, sin and death are our enemies. The devil has no power over us, yet he has schemes that are intended to separate us from God and his will for our lives. "The rulers, authorities, powers, and spiritual forces of evil" work amongst the rulers of nations as the book of Daniels states.

* Mark 3:22-26 "And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.' So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: 'How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.'"

* Ephesians 6:10-12 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

* 1 Peter 5:8-9 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

* Our struggle is in our inner being. (Romans 7:21-25)

* Young children say, "The devil made me do it." What a lie! The truth is that when I was tempted, I decided to submit to the sinful desires of my heart. To many times I hear Christians blame others including the devil for "evil thoughts" in their heads. The devil does not communicate to a Christian's brain, at least I see nowhere in the Bible that teaches that. How can he if the Holy Spirit dwells in all Christians? Neither is there an angel on one shoulder telling us to do good and a demon on the other trying to convince us so sin. Many passages states that we have a sinful nature (natural tendency) to follow the sinful desires in our heart. When you sin, own up to it admitting you are the only one guilty of the sin and ask for forgiveness. Saying, "The devil made me do it," is saying, "I am innocent of this," which is a lie. Saying, "That thought comes from the devil," is saying, "I am unable to think these kinds of sins," which is a lie. It is true that Jesus said to Peter, "Get behind me Satan." However, he was not saying Peter was Satan, or that Satan possessed him. Just as when Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ moments before, he was not saying Peter was God; but rather God opened his spiritually blind heart. When Peter tried to talk Jesus out of the cross Jesus was saying, "You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (Matthew 16:33; Mark 8:33) When the sinful desires of the heart are in league with the devil's desires, then fallen man can be called sons of the devil. (John 8:44)

* Are you following the sinful desires of your heart, or following the desires of God?

* Do you resist the sinful desires of your heart, or are you following the desires of the devil?

* 2 Corinthians 4:4 says of the devil, "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

>What does Jesus being the Son of God and the Son of Man tell us about him as we study his temptations and his ability to overcome them?

* Revelation 2:18 "To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze."

* 1 John 3:8 "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work."

* 1 John 4:15 "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."

* 1 John 5:5 "Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."

* 1 John 5:9-12, 20; Hebrews 1:8, 4:14, 5:5, 6:6, 7:3, 10:29

* Jesus is the way man was created to be. Yet he is more. He is God incarnate (God in the flesh). He was tempted as we are yet is without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) Because he is the Son of God he was sinless and had the power to overcome temptation. Because he is the Son of Man he is vulnerable to temptation just as Adam was and we are. Jesus did not engage in sin when being tempted.

* The Lord Jesus is the ultimate authority and in him we have power over Satan. (Isa. 14:12-23; Job chapters 1 and 2.) Jesus dwells in us through the Spirit. John wrote, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood." (1 John 4:4-6)

* The devil's destruction is for sure. Revelation 20:2, 3 and 10 say, "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years ere ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time..." And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

* "He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry." -Jesus fasted. Spirits don't have the ability or need to stop eating. Only flesh can fast and so Jesus was fully man - fully God.

* After twenty-four hours of not eating the hunger pains go away. After several days the physical senses' perception increases greatly. If caffeine is consumed in large quantities regularly before fasting, severe headaches will occur for several days and shakes may occur. After a week of fasting the body becomes weak, tired spells occur, and there may be some occasional minor headaches. After several weeks, when the body fat is used up, the body begins to "consume" itself.

>6. What did the devil say to Jesus in verse 3?

* Luke 4:3 "The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.'"

* Matthew 4:3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

* "If you are the Son of God" -The devil knew who Jesus was. He challenged Jesus' position, thus clouding the issue of the temptation. He tried to stir up Jesus' pride. Perhaps a good paraphrase is, "Why should you, the Son of God, be in this situation?"

* "tell these stones" -Jesus had this power and the devil knew it. Jesus had the right to eat. Being the Son of God he had the right to be treated highly, receiving all he needed and needing nothing. Forty days fasting and praying would by anyone standards be long enough to prove his spirituality.

* "tell these stones to become bread" -Man's food problem has been around since the fall of man. When Eve was tested food was used as the instrument of temptation. (Genesis 3:6) Jesus' temptation is greater because since Adam's sin, and because he sinned the ground is cursed in it's easy production of food. Genesis 3:19 says, "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." Jesus addressed this problem. Once, when the crowd wanted to make him king after he feed them with a miracle they "intended to come and make him king by force..." (John 6:15) He told them, "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." (John 6:25-27a) In general all men think they need to eat bread or any kind of food to live. But Jesus taught otherwise.

When we are hungry we think that the lack of bread is the problem, but what is the problem is the lack of faith; that is the lack of trust in God who cares for and loves us. Doubting God's love was part of Satan's temptation to Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:1)

* Some temptations are subtle. Others are easier to recognize. Beware of temptations to rearrange priorities away from God, his will, his word and his people.

* This temptation is representative of all physical and material temptations.

* In order to eat Jesus would need to follow the devil's suggestion.

Jesus Tempted to turn Rock into Bread

See a wood engraving by Eck, Johann, 1486-1543. Satan tempts Jesus to turn rocks into bread. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University:

>How did Jesus answer him?

* Luke 4:4 "Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.''"

* "It is written" -Deuteronomy 8:3 is where Jesus quoted from. "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD."

* Jesus had the right priorities.

>What does man live on? (Matt. 4:4, John 6:63)

* Matthew 4:4 "Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.''"

* John 6:63 "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."

* "Man does not live by bread alone" -God is the giver and sustainer of life. So whether we eat or not eat we will live. Man is both physical and spiritual so he can live with or without bread. Jesus said, "Man does not live on bread alone..." Here "alone" indicates that man should eat too. But he should not live to eat alone. We also should meet are spiritual need and that is the first and most important need for the flesh dies but the spirit lives forever. Through this word Jesus establishes that the spiritual body is more important than the physical, and that the physical is not to be ignored.

People really need to satisfy their spiritual needs first. Man spiritual needs are meet with God and his word.

If Jesus would have obeyed and made the bread when he was hungry, he would be using his power for selfish gains. He would then not be like man in every way, for man cannot make bread from rock. Also he would deny man's true needs of the spiritual over the less important needs of the flesh.

* Food and material things do not sustain us. Man is sustained by God.

* "alone" -Jesus did not avoid the issue. He acknowledged that man needs bread because we and he are physical beings.

>What does this teach us about Bible study and Bible study notes?

* 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

* "on every word that comes from the mouth of God" -Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) Jesus is the word of God in the flesh. (John 1:14) Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world... I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him." (John 6:51, 53-56) And he said, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." (John 6:63)

* Bible reading and studying is very important. Just as the Israelites were to get manna everyday (Exodus 16:15-16, 35), so we should read and think about the word of God everyday. (Job 23:12; Proverbs 30:8, Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3; Colossians 3:16; and 1 Peter 1:23; and 1 John 2:14)

* In all three cases Jesus used the word of God to overcome the devil's temptation. But it is important to remember that he used and understood the word of God correctly.

* Also, we don't need to prove ourselves before God.

* Some people may have a lot; some may have little. Possessions are not the measure of blessing, honor, importance, and being.

>7. What did the devil do next and what did he say to Jesus? (5-7)

* Luke 4:5-7 "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, 'I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.'"

* Matthew 4:8-9 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

* "The devil led him up to a high place" -Luke is not specific. Matthew only claims it was a very high mountain. Mount Hermon originally in Israel, but at that time in Syria is 2,814 meters (9,232 feet) high. Mount Gerizim is 2,849 feet (881 meters) above sea level, 228 feet (69.5 meters) shorter than Mount Ebal, both Samaritan mountains. Mount Carmel in northern Israel is 525.4 meters (1,724 feet) high. Mount Tabor in Galilee is 575 meters (1,886 feet) high.

* "showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world" -How the devil was able to do this is not clear. Showing the kingdoms with paintings is possible, but then he wouldn't need to be on a high mountain. It's might be possible that some supernaturally method was used, but if that was used Jesus wouldn't need to be on a high mountain. It's partly possible to see many nations while on a mountain and using special looking glasses (binocular). The most likely means would be to watch people from many nations pass before them while they were on the major trade routes in Judea. Seeing the Roman army would certainly cover much of the noteworthy kingdoms and nations. The Roman army was made of men from all of it's conquered kingdoms and more.

* "he said to him" -The devil was able to speak and Jesus understood him.

* "if you" -The devil promises always has conditions that must be meet before receiving the promise.

* "if you worship me" -Worshipping the devil is part of a broken relationship with God. Worshiping the devil involves losing our personal identity and losing control of self.

Mount Eival view

* See a view from Mount Eival (Ebal) looking toward Tel Aviv to the right. It is 900 meters above sea level.

>What is the world's authority and spender, and what does it do for us in the end?

* Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

* Daniel 10:13 "But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia."

* "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to." -The world did not technically belong to the devil (Daniel 4:32), who owned human hearts and societies only as a usurper. The most he could do would be to make Jesus the political, military sort of Messiah most Jewish people who expected a Messiah were anticipating. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament)

* "it will all be yours" -Jesus didn't have it at this time. The devil was proposing Jesus could right away, the easy way set up a kingdom that would be supported by an army that could conquer unopposed. Demons are often behind the kingdoms of sinful men. (Daniel 10:13, 20; Ephesians 6:12) Satan would tell his demons to let Jesus control the people through a powerful army, more powerful than Rome's army. We can assume that Satan wouldn't allow him to keep control.

* Like Adam and Eve discovered we discover, that which Satan promises never comes to pass and we are only left off worse than before. The side effects are far worse than any good his promises seems to have. (2 Peter 2:17-19)

Jesus' temptation

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by

>How do we worship the devil?

* "So if you worship me" -Following a life of sin and rebellion against the Lord God is worshiping the devil. Worship involves following another's ways and commands. We can chose to be a slave to God or a slave to Satan. Submission to God leads to freedom. Submission to Satan leads to restriction and oppression. Jesus said, "Everyone who sins is a slave to sin... If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:34, 36)

* John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

* Luke 8:12 "Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved."

* Acts 13:10 "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?"

* 1 John 3:8-10 "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother."

* Worshiping the devil results in letting him have control over you and the lost of self identity.

* Everyone is a slave to someone and/or something. (2 Peter 2:19) What are you a slave to?

* Someone once said, "I'd rather be a king in hell, than a servant in heaven." They don't realize that there are no kings in hell and the smallest servant is heaven is far better off than any king on earth.

>How did Jesus answer the devil?

* Luke 4:8 "Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.''"

* Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

* "For it is written" -Deuteronomy 6:13 is where the this quote comes from. It says, "Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name."

>How can we love and serve God instead of the devil? (John 15:9-10)

* Deuteronomy 6:4-6 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts."

* John 15:9-10 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love."

* 1 John 2:15-16 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world."

>What is the result and gift to those who serve and love God?

* The fruit of a loving relationship with God is given in Galatians 5:22-23. It says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

* John 6:40, "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.""

* 1 John 3:1-2 "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

* The chief end of man is to worship God and enjoy him forever. (The The Westminster Shorter Catechism)

>8. What did the devil do next and what did he say? (9-11)

* Luke 4:9-11 "The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down from here. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.''"

* Matthew 4:5-6 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

* "The devil led him to Jerusalem"

* "had him stand on the highest point of the temple"

* "If you are the Son of God" -This was also in the first temptation.

* "throw yourself down" -If Jesus were to do this then the people would awe him and make him king for he would prove to have powers greater then man.

Perhaps this temptation is saying that success and achievement will satisfy a person. If so then this teaches to not expect to achieve success and achievement without the cross of mission. People sometimes try to gain through deceitful channels and means. All want to be a "somebody" in the world, that is before man's eyes and ignore God and his approval. This never will come and even what one gains, he will lose in the end. Therefore, I should seek God's approval through Jesus.

People think the ends justify the means. Satan was saying if Jesus did this he would be glorified by the praise of men. Of course Jesus wouldn't be glorified for long; the act's impact wouldn't have long glory.

>What did this temptation concern?

* This temptation was testing God's love and his words (promises). Jesus was being asked to take the easy way, to avoid the cross.

* Testing God is not the same as Deuteronomy 4:29-31 which states, "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath." Nor is it like Jesus' teaching, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." (Luke 11:9-10) This is also in 2 Chronicles 15:2 and Jeremiah 29:13.

>What does the devil's use of the word of God teach us about his technics?

* "For it is written" -The psalm that Satan quoted had nothing to do with what Satan implied it did. It was meant to help those who were going to be killed in this way for God would save us if it is his will.

Satan used the word of God to justify his point. Just because someone uses the word of God, it does not mean his message is from God. Many have used the word of God to advance themselves.

* The devil twisted the purpose and intent of the word of God. He used the word of God in a way it was not intended to be used.

* Just because someone quotes the Bible does not mean that everything they say is correct.

* 1 John 4:1 "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

* Bible study is not the end of a Christian life. Jesus is life. Bible study should direct us to love Jesus and others.

>How did Jesus answer the devil?

* Luke 4:12 "Jesus answered, 'It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.''"

* Matthew 4:7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

* "It is also written" -Deut. 6:16 is this quote. It says, "Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah."

* Jesus saw the heart of the temptation.

* God promises the believer a lot to comfort, encourage, and guide us. We should not use them to prove ourselves or God.

>What does this teach us about trusting God?

* Trusting God goes against our fallen sinful nature. God is patient with us as we slowly grow in faith. Living by faith and trusting God go hand in hand.

* Testing God is not trusting his love and good intentions toward us.

>9. What can we learn about temptation and winning over Satan when he attacks through this passage?

* We need a love relationship with Jesus to overcome the devil.

* We need a good understanding of God's word and obey it.

* Ephesians 6:11-18 "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

* When the devil attacks we can use the word of God to overcome.

* James 4:7-10 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."

>What does verse 13 teach us about Satan?

* Luke 4:13 "When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time."

* "Then the devil left him" -1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

* "he left him until an opportune time" -Jesus was tempted again, many times.

* We should always have our guard up.


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